NNSA Blog

NNSA Blog
Congressman Joe Heck (R-Nev.) receives a briefing from Rhonda Hopkins (right), senior manager for National Security Technologies (NSTec), on the vital national security role played by the company’s Remote Sensing Lab (RSL) at Nellis Air Force Base. RSL is a national leader in radiological emergency response, nuclear and radiological detection, and related technology and electronics development. Looking on are (l-r) Michael Mohar, senior manager with RSL; Ray Juzaitis, president of NSTec; Cheryl Oar, acting director of Global Security for NSTec; Alan Will, manager of RSL; Keith Hughes, senior caseworker for Congressman Heck; and Mike Butchko, chief operating officer for NSTec. NSTec manages and operates the Nevada National Security Site and related facilities for the NNSA’s Nevada Site Office.  

May 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Forum

How can government partner with the private sector to control sensitive nuclear technology without blocking legitimate commerce? How could social media be used to target information-driven arms control and nonproliferation? How are nuclear disarmament dynamics shifting?

These were just a few of the intriguing topics that 90 participants tackled at a nuclear security forum on April 18-19. The event, attended by representatives from seven countries, was part of the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), an activity of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). CSIS was recently ranked the world’s top security and international affairs “think tank” by a well-respected annual assessment from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Rising experts in the nuclear security field presented research findings on nuclear weapons issues and shared information in interactive forums. Speakers covered work that was funded by NNSA and other agencies. Graduate students from 12 universities also participated, advancing a PONI goal of building a networked community of young nuclear experts. Warren Stern, Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provided keynote remarks at the meeting.

This year’s event was held at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and DOE’s Volpentest HAMMER Training and Education Center. During tours, participants experienced an up-close-and-personal view of technologies and facilities to counter nuclear terrorism, prevent proliferation, and verify arms control regimes.

May 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Helicopter

The Nevada Site Office and contractor National Security Technologies recently celebrated the 10,000th sortie aircraft flight from their Remote Sensing Lab (RSL) in southern Nevada in support of Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) missions.  Participating in the commemorative flight were: (l-r): NNSS Fire & Rescue (F&R) Deputy Chief of Operations John Gamby, Chief Charles Fauerbach, NSTec Chief Operating Officer Mike Butchko, Capt. Tom McKissack, F&R Engineer John Dwyer, RSL pilot Capt. Tom Selfridge and F&R Training Deputy Chief John Rynes. The commemorative flight from RSL’s location at Nellis Air Force Base to the Desert Rock Airport at the NNSS was similar to those flown during local wildland fire events at the NNSS.

May 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

NNSA Blog

“Discovery and Innovation for National Security” is the theme of the fifth annual NNSA Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Symposium set for June 12 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS Center) in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will feature highlights of game-changing, mission-relevant research supported by the LDRD Program from throughout the enterprise. Emphasis will be on scientific discovery and technological innovation that benefits DOE and NNSA missions of national security. Technical topics will include adiabatic quantum architectures; sensing and modeling for national security; uncertainty quantification for science-based stockpile stewardship; and optical velocimetry for nuclear security.

The symposium features LDRD technology advancements from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. It also includes research, development, and demonstration projects from the Site Directed Research and Development Program at Nevada National Security Site, and from the Plant Directed Research and Development Program at the NNSA plants. NNSA researchers will provide briefings and a poster session at noon.

Dr. Victor Reis, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Secretary, will lead a panel discussion on discovery and innovation issues for national security. Keynote presenters will include Neile L. Miller, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator; Charles V. Shank, Senior Fellow, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Former Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Norman R. Augustine, retired Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation; and Thomas A. Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Click here for more information.  

Apr 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

MOX Conservation GardenA conservation garden that features a rare, endangered plant native to the Savannah River Site (SRS) was dedicated today at the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility in celebration of Earth Day last week. The MOX Conservation Garden is located at the entrance of the MOX project’s administration building and was established to promote the preservation and awareness of a federally endangered plant species, the smooth purple coneflower.  The MOX administrative building, where the conservation garden is located, is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building.  The building is the first at SRS to be LEED Gold Certified. Two additional buildings of the MOX project will pursue certification.  

Other SRS plant species in the conservation garden include scaly blazing star, sky-blue lupine and beargrass.  Another unique feature of the garden are the stone that were created from cobblestones collected near the MOX construction site that were deposited by high-energy rivers more than 10 million years ago.

 

 

 

 

Apr 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

 

Nearly 100 sons and daughters of DOE and NNSA employees participated in today's "Bring our Daughters and Sons to Work" day. The event is geared for children to see what their parents do when at work, and it is also is intended to start a conversation about his or her own future. This year, the foundation that created this event is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Several activities planned for the DOE event include face painting, fitness activities, educational programs include a health and nutrition talk and a presentation on solar energy.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

PNNL/Dep Sec

The Physical Sciences Facility Project, funded in part by NNSA, recently received the DOE Secretary’s Award of Excellence in Project Management. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman presented the award to DOE’s Pacific Northwest Site Office and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  Deputy Secretary Poneman stands at left in the photo, next to DOE’s Chad Henderson, PNNL’s Jeff Pittman, and DOE officials Marcus Jones, Daniel Lehman and Ingrid Kolb.

The seven-year, $224 million project was co-funded by NNSA and other federal agencies.  It was managed by an integrated team consisting of the DOE’s Office of Science, the NNSA, the Department of Homeland Security, and PNNL.

The 200,000-square-foot complex houses unique, state-of-the-art equipment to support national and homeland security and energy research missions, particularly the development and advancement of radiation detection technologies. Scientists use the Radiation Detection and Ultra-Trace laboratories to help identify weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities. The Large Detector Laboratory and accompanying Test Track are used to develop and test radiation detection technologies for deployment.  Entrenched 40 feet below ground is the Underground Lab, which supports homeland and national security missions in radiation detection. The complex also includes a Materials Science & Technology Laboratory to develop and test high-performance materials used in future energy, construction, and transportation technologies and systems. 

The facility project, which was completed ahead of schedule and within budget, allowed for a smooth transition of a large group of PNNL researchers and equipment to new facilities while minimizing impacts to mission-critical research. 

DOE gives the award annually to management teams that have demonstrated exceptional results in completing a project within cost and schedule.

Apr 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Perkins Award
For the second year in a row, B&W Pantex has been selected as the recipient of a prestigious national award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), winning the 2012 Frances Perkins Vanguard Award in recognition of its work with women-owned small businesses.

Last year, Pantex won the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for excellence in utilization of small businesses.

“To be honored two years in a row by the SBA is a tremendous accomplishment,” said B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery. “These awards validate our commitment to financial stewardship and to the support of small businesses throughout the local area.”

Pantex officials announced the award win at Corporate Technology Group (CTG), one of the women-owned small businesses Pantex works with in Amarillo, Texas. CTG was founded in Amarillo in 1981 as a computer and information technology service company. It now has offices in Amarillo and Arlington, Texas, and employs about 20 people.

The Perkins award was created in 1963 and is named after Frances Perkins, the U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Secretary Perkins was the first woman appointed to head a U.S. Cabinet post.

B&W Pantex consistently exceeds goals for direction of contracting work to businesses owned by disadvantaged groups. In fiscal year 2011, Pantex spent $19,897,945 with women-owned small businesses, a total of 17.8 percent of the $112 million in subcontracting dollars spent that year, nearly double the performance goal of 9 percent set by the Department of Energy.

About the photo:

Mark A. Padilla, second from right, assistant manager of contract administration and business management with the Pantex Site Office, talks with Corporate Technology Group (CTG) Executive Vice President Roxanne Hudson and B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery at the CTG offices. Pantex officials were on hand at CTG to announce Pantex had received the 2012 Frances Perkins Vanguard Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for excellence in utilization of women-owned small businesses. This is the second year in a row that Pantex has been honored with a national award from the SBA for its support of small businesses. CTG, an Amarillo-based woman-owned small business, has been working with Pantex for more than two decades as a subcontractor.

The five people in the other photo are, from left: Brad Brack, small business program manager at Pantex, Woolery, Hudson, Padilla, and Mike Tryon, division manager for supply chain management at Pantex.

Apr 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The Department of Energy–Savannah River (DOE-SR) and WSI-SRS, the security contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS), are hosting the Security Protection Officer Team Competition (SPOTC) at SRS this week. The 2012 Carolina Challenge at SRS marks the 40th anniversary of SPOTC.

A tactical, skills-oriented firearms competition, SPOTC is open to teams of protective force officers within the DOE Complex. In addition, U.S. law enforcement and international competitors will participate. Sixteen teams will compete with local teams that include; WSI-SRS, Aiken Department of Public Safety, and Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

Teams test the skills developed to protect National assets in the event of a real-world crisis. To negotiate the various courses of fire, teams have to demonstrate a wide range of skills under the mental and physical stress of competition, to include: maneuvering safely through obstacles; shooting from unconventional firing positions; and rescuing downed officers.

Apr 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Cars

B&W Pantex hosted its annual car race this weekend as part of the National Science Bowl competition. More than 15 teams of middle school students from across the Texas Panhandle gathered to race cars powered by a lithium ion battery down a 20-meter track. A bottle of water attached to the cars provided weight and increased the challenge of extracting speed from the cars.

The DOE provided kits the students used to build their cars over the past month. Battery-powered cars were selected this year to honor President Obama’s goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Panhandle White took first place, while the Silver Team from Bovina, Texas, came in second. Third place went to the Gold Team from Panhandle, Texas.

Apr 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm